Photo Credit: Joshua L. Jones/file
Local activist Mokah-Jasmine Johnson is considering running for an Athens state House of Representatives seat that Democrats surprisingly flipped in 2017 but lost again last year.
Johnson filed paperwork Tuesday to begin raising money to run in House District 117, currently held by Rep. Houston Gaines (R-Athens). Last November, Gaines ousted Democrat Deborah Gonzalez in a rematch of a special election the previous year.
The district—which includes parts of Clarke, Oconee, Jackson and Barrow counties—had been in Republican hands for decades. It's now a swing district that's considered crucial if Democrats hope to win control of the House in 2020. The GOP currently has a 14-seat advantage but lost ground last year, mainly in the metro Atlanta suburbs.
Photo Credit: Sarah Bell
A Georgia Republican Party official told Oconee County Republicans that the GOP will continue to win elections because Democratic women "forgot to reproduce," and "Christian and conservative women" are having more children.
Brant Frost V, the party's second vice-chair, claimed at an Oconee GOP meeting last month that Republicans have a 35 percent "fertility advantage" over Democrats.
According to Lee Becker at Oconee County Observations:
New Gaines Elementary School principal Luther McDaniel's invitation to a now-canceled prayer event at the school this weekend raises "serious Constitutional concerns" because government resources can't be used to promote religion, and it could make non-Christian students unwelcome, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.
“In his personal capacity off school property, Dr. Luther McDaniel is, of course, free to invite Christians to pray for his school, and people of all faiths are free to pray for his school,” Andrea Young, executive director of the ACLU of Georgia, said in a statement provided to Flagpole. “There are other ways to invite the community to show their heartfelt good wishes for a successful school year for all of the students, teachers and staff in the school without promoting one kind of religion.”
Western Circuit District Attorney Ken Mauldin will not run for re-election in 2020, he announced Wednesday.
Mauldin, a Democrat, has served five terms as the DA for Clarke and Oconee counties. He released the following statement about his retirement:
Photo Credit: Robert Wyatt
Jimmy Williamson is running for Oconee County sheriff as a Republican, but he asked Democrats assembled at the party meeting last month to help him with his campaign.
“Anybody that wants to help me get my name out, and help people understand that I’m the most qualified candidate, I appreciate the help,” Williamson said.
Photo Credit: Blake Aued
Athens-Clarke County police arrested a Clarke Gardens resident Wednesday night and charged her with the murder of neighbor Auriel Callaway during a gunfight at the Eastside apartment compex Monday.
Although others were also shooting, police say Kiresa Shanice Cooper, 27, fired the bullet that killed Callaway, 24, who was walking with her 3-year-old son when the gunfire broke out. Callaway was trying to get her son to a safe place when she was shot, according to Police Chief Cleveland Spruill. She died, along with the unborn child she was carrying, at a local hospital shortly after the shooting Monday night.
"I cannot think of a more tragic circumstance that for an innocent mother to be gunned down in front of her residence while her child looked on," Spruill said at a news conference this afternoon to announce Cooper's arrest.
An Athens woman was shot and killed Monday night while walking outside with her three-year-old son.
Athens-Clarke County police received a call about gunshots fired at the Clarke Gardens apartment complex off Barnett Shoals Road at 9:37 p.m. Monday. When they arrived at Carriage Court, they found 24-year-old resident Auriel Callaway on the ground, bleeding.
Police provided first aid until EMS arrived to transport Callaway to a local hospital, where she died. Callaway was four months pregnant, according to police, and the fetus she was carrying did not survive. Her son was unharmed and is staying with relatives, police said.
Photo Credit: Michael Rivera
The Athens Banner-Herald could be facing more cuts if, as the Wall Street Journal reported last week, owner GateHouse Media takes over another major newspaper chain, Gannett.
It's no secret that newspapers are in big trouble and have been for a decade, and the Columbia Journalism Review reports that a merger could buy the resulting behemoth company—which would own 265 dailies with a combined circulation of 8.7 million—a few years to figure out how to make their digital operations profitable. The best-case scenario is readers don't notice a difference.
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